MUNICH, Germany—Funds advised by Apax today announced an agreement to acquire Rodenstock Group, a leading manufacturer of premium ophthalmic lenses, from Compass Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed. However, a person familiar with the matter said that the deal values Rodenstock at about €1.5 billion ($1.77 billion), including debt, according to Reuters, which reported last month that Compass was preparing a sale at this valuation. Founded in 1877, Rodenstock has been a global leader in prescription lenses for over 140 years, with a strong track record of innovative product development and market leading technologies.

Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Rodenstock employs around 4,900 people worldwide and is represented by sales subsidiaries and distribution partners in more than 85 countries.

The Apax Funds said in a statement that it will support the Rodenstock management team’s vision of accelerating the company’s growth through innovation, commercial execution and digitization, while continuing to deliver the highest level of service to clients and partners. The Apax Healthcare team have a deep understanding of innovative MedTech through prior investments in the space, including companies such as Candela, a pioneering non-surgical aesthetic device company, and Acelity, the global leader in wound-care products.

Anders Hedegaard, CEO of Rodenstock, said, “We are excited to partner with the Apax Funds, who have a proven culture of investing for growth, and who will be able to support Rodenstock’s continued quest to develop and produce the highest quality lenses for our customers. During 2020 we saw tremendous growth driven by our B.I.G. VISION technology, which helped us emerge from the Covid-19 crisis stronger than most of our competitors.

"Our innovative technology enhances the value proposition that can be delivered by our opticians, who in turn are delivering optimal vision to consumers. With the support of Apax we are looking to expand our presence even further by offering our customers more excellent and innovative products.”

Steven Dyson, partner at Apax and co-head of Healthcare, commented, “Rodenstock fits perfectly with the Apax Funds’ health care strategy of investing in innovative companies with a differentiated customer proposition and the potential to achieve stand-out growth. Under Anders’ management, Rodenstock’s strategic refocus has already translated into strong performance in 2019 and 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a robust foundation for future success.”

In June, 2020, Rodenstock posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of €103 million on €450 million in sales for the financial year 2019. In addition to releasing its 2019 financial results, Rodenstock announced in June that it had successfully completed a capital increase of up to €75 million. The funds came exclusively from the existing shareholders.